Police: Man drove drunk down Atlantic City boardwalk

April 3, 2012 4:39:49 AM PDT
A man is in police custody after he allegedly drove his car down the Atlantic City boardwalk on Monday afternoon while intoxicated.

Police say it was 12:37 p.m. when an officer saw a car on the boardwalk at Florida Avenue. That officer signaled for the car to stop but, instead, that driver - identified as 28-year-old John Thompson of Staten Island, New York - hit the gas.

Concerned for the safety of pedestrians on the boardwalk, the officer called for backup as a bicycle officer was nearly struck at California Avenue. That bicycle officer said people had to jump out of the way as the car sped down the boardwalk.

At one point a passenger in the car, 33-year-old John Sulmonee, jumped out of the car and was struck. Police say Sulmonee had met Thompson earlier in the day and agreed to get a ride when he realized they both lived in New York. When Thompson allegedly began driving on the boardwalk, Sulmonee begged him to stop then jumped from the vehicle. He suffered a head injury and a foot injury.

Thompson was eventually caught at the toll plaza on the Atlantic City Expressway where, police say, he was apparently trying to pay the toll.

Thompson was charged with Risking Widespread Injury, Aggravated Assault on a Police Officer (2 counts), Driving While Intoxicated and Aggravated Assault.